Letter: Tow-rags and acrobatic toes

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The Independent Online
Sir: Walter Roberts ("Grammarians weep! The bell tolls for `whom' ", 14 June) suggests that "toe-rag" is derived, phonetically from Taureg.

Surely the original phrase always included the adjective "dirty" and comes from "dirty tow-rag" - tow rags being used by engineers to apply grease to the mechanical parts of their machines. A dirty tow-rag is obviously something that is singularly unattractive, not to say repellant.

Dr IAN K BLOOR

Kinsey Heath, Cheshire

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